The outdoor recreational opportunities at this Angola, Indiana, park range from camping and hiking to horseback riding and paddling.  

Pokagon State Park in Angola, Indiana (photo by Kristina Smith)

This 1,260-acre park tucked into the northeast corner of Indiana near the Michigan and Ohio state lines allows families to immerse themselves in the peace and calm of nature. The plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities at Pokagon State Park range from camping and hiking to horseback riding and paddling. 

After breakfast cooked over the campfire, set out on an exhilarating hike on one of nine trails ranging from easy to rugged that wind through the park’s diverse habitats. Sights along the way include small lakes, marshland, lakefront, old-growth trees, wildflowers and wildlife such as deer, the endangered Blanding’s turtle and sandhill cranes. 

The hike to Hell’s Point — the highest part in the park at an elevation of around 1,100 feet — traverses a moderately difficult trail to the observation platform, and it is worth the trip. Seasoned hikers can take the Hell’s Point Challenge, an 8-mile hike that covers eight of the park’s trails and includes the walk up to the point. Travelers can also opt to experience one of the park’s trails on horseback by way of a guided ride. 

After a morning of hiking or horseback riding, cool off in the clear waters of Lake James, and warm yourself in the sun on one of the park’s two sandy beaches. Rent a kayak or paddle boat and see the park and neighboring cottages from the water. Be sure to check out the popular sandbar not far offshore from the park’s lodge. 

Also be sure to stop at the nature center, which was renovated for a spring 2022 reopening. See native turtles and other reptiles, spot birds and other wildlife at its observation area, learn about the park’s rich Native American history and participate in one of the center’s programs. 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, Indiana 46703, 260/833-2012,